The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center will host this season's American Virtuosi Chamber Concerts on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23. The two unique programs will feature the music of the great masters combined with the talent of some of the world's leading concert artists.
Special guests this season include violin virtuoso, James Ehnes. Hailed as "the Jascha Heifetz of our day" (Globe and Mail), violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the most dynamic and exciting performers in classical music. He has performed in more than 30 countries on five continents, appearing regularly with many of the world's most well-known orchestras and conductors.. Ehnes appeared as guest soloist recently at the Naples Philharmonic with the Toronto Symphony in a performance of the Barber Violin Concerto.
Violinist Peter Winograd returns to Fort Myers. Winograd was recognized early as an exceptionally promising young artist and was a top prize winner in the 1988 Naumburg International Violin Competition. He then made his New York debut to critical acclaim and has since appeared as a guest soloist with numerous orchestras around the world. He is currently first violinist of the American String Quartet and is in residence at the Manhattan School of Music and Aspen Music Festival.
Also returning this year is cellist Andres Diaz, winner of the First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition.
Among the highlights of Díaz's recent seasons are tours of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and Canada and appearances in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. He has also appeared with Russia's Saratov Symphony and toured in New Zealand with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra. Currently, he is an associate professor at Southern Methodist University.
At the age of 15, pianist Wendy Chen debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor André Previn. In 1990 she became the youngest winner ever of the National Chopin Competition, was one of the inaugural recipients of the Irving S. Gilmore Young Artists Award, and was named a Presidential Scholar by the National Foundation for the Arts.
The Friday, April 22 evening program will include the Mozart Viola Quintet in C Major, Piazzolla for solo piano, and Ravel trio. The featured artists are violinists Peter Winograd and James Ehnes, violists J.T. Posadas and Jim Griffith, cellist Andres Diaz, and pianist Wendy Chen.
The Saturday, April 23 evening program will begin with the Saint Saens Violin Sonata (James Ehnes, Wendy Chen), followed by the Dvorak "Dumky" Trio (Peter Winograd, Andres Diaz, Wendy Chen) and Mendelssohn Octet (James Ehnes, Peter Winograd, violinists Jennifer Kozbial and Daniela Shtereva, Jim Griffith, J.T. Posadas, Andres Diaz and cellist Susan Moyer Bergeron).
Cocktail receptions begin at 7 p.m., with performances at 8 p.m. The Art Center is located at 2301 First Street, in the River District, downtown Fort Myers.